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Pythia - "Sarah (Bury Her)" (CD/EP)

Pythia - "Sarah (Bury Her)" CD/EP cover image

"Sarah (Bury Her)" track listing:

1. Sarah (Bury Her) (4:30)
2. Thunder Rising (5:37)
3. Tristan (4:30)

Reviewed by on September 23, 2009

"Though Pythia may promote themselves as a goth/power metal act, the wide array of sounds they offer on 'Sarah (Bury Her)' makes them an act worth checking out by fans of most metal genres."

It’s always nice to get a sampler CD from a new band before they come out with a full release. Sure, it’s a tease, but it gives you a taste of what’s to come, and helps you decide whether these unheard-of's are worth shelling out $15-20. In the case of Pythia, I’d say if their single, "Sarah (Bury Her)" is any indication, fans of female-fronted metal would find their money well spent.

There are only three tracks on the single, but Pythia manages to combine elements of goth, symphonic, power, and thrash exceedingly well over the brief span of about fifteen minutes. Former Descent and Head On members Marc Dyos (drums) and Ross White (guitar) bring their rock and thrash influences to the table, and Andy Nixon-Corfield adds that deep chugging bass that rumbles your speakers. Instrumentally, Pythia is versatile and impressive, the only downside being the overly embellished keyboards.

The real beauty in the first two tracks is Pythia’s ability to mix light and dark sounds. "Sarah (Bury Her)" starts out with a big, almost anthemic opening, with wailing guitars and a steady drumbeat. Emily Alice Ovendon then enters the scene with a very classic sounding mid-range voice that’s perfect for goth metal, but ironically, the lyrics and tempo in this one are almost poppy.

Just when you’ve decided that this is a mainstream tune, with a bit of symphonic beauty thanks to some pretty piano work, Pythia enters the realm of thrashy breakdown, extra heavy on the bass.

"Thunder Rising," a cover of the Gary Moore song, is just as idiosyncratic. Here in particular, the keyboards get a little out of control, but then a chugging guitar and power tempo drums add a depth to the piece to get it out of the glam rock sound. Surprisingly, Ovendon does well with this warrior tune, and though her sound isn’t as aggressive as say pioneer metal maiden Doro, she gets the job done quite well.

The real gem for traditional goth metal fans though is the closer, "Tristan." This acoustic piece has a very Celtic sound, complete with tambourines and pipes. It’s a more mellow tune, but the dark, nearly all minor chord vocals make this a haunting, visually inspiring tune.

Though Pythia may promote themselves as a goth/power metal act, the wide array of sounds they offer on "Sarah (Bury Her)" makes them an act worth checking out by fans of most metal genres.

Highs: The mix of goth and thrash provide a dark backdrop to more mainstream lyrics.

Lows: Keyboards are a bit overdone, particularly on "Thunder Rising."

Bottom line: Female-fronted act whose debut provides a taste of thrash, symphonic, and celtic sounds layered over a foundation of goth and power metal.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)